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Dialogue XIII

Bhaktha: Swami, last time you spoke of the Mahabharatha war; in the same manner, does the Ramayana also happen in every one's heart?
Swami: Undoubtedly! It does take place systematically and in the same sequence.

Bhaktha: Then, in what form does Rama come in this?
Swami: The Atma is Rama. He has come, in the character of Jivi, wearing the dress called body.

Bhaktha: Then, being a Sankalpasiddha, whose will prevails, and being omnipotent, who is all-powerful, why does He suffer so much?
Swami: It is all play: His Leela, sport. What can be joy for Him? And what can be suffering for Him? He is Anandaswarupa, who knows neither. By His will He can produce everything. He has enacted the Ramayana on the stage of the theatre of the world, with Himself taking a role and showing each quality or Guna as a separate form. Such a Ramayana is taking place, in every heart. The Rama in the heart, the Atmarama, is observing everything, as witness.

Bhaktha: But the inert material Jada, the Jivi, how does it enter into this Ramayana?
Swami: This Jada accepts the active Chaithanya, viz. the knowledge of Brahmam. Chaithanya is born with the name of Seetha. The Jada-Chaithanya become one. This is referred to as Seetharama. So long as the Jada and the Chaithanya are one, there is not trouble and no suffering. It is the separation of one of these two that gives rise to all the bother.

Bhaktha: How is that, Swami?
Swami: Seetha, who is Brahmajnana, goes away from the Atma which is in the form of the Jiva; hence, falling into the darkness of the jungle is inevitable. Rama has acted in this way to show us this; if Seetha or Brahmajnana is allowed to be lost, one cannot escape wandering about in the jungle of darkness.

Bhaktha: If that is so, what is the reason, Swami, for this Lakshmana to be always with Him? In our life what does he stand for?
Swami: One should not be alone in the dark jungle of life; one should have the Manas, ever by one's side. It is for this that Lakshmana is kept near, always.

Bhaktha: In the Ramayana, Vali and Sugriva are described. Who are they?
Swami: When wandering in the dark jungle one gets despair when one should get discrimination. They have vengeful hatred of each other. Vali who is despair has to be destroyed; then only can success come. Despair is Vali; discrimination is Sugriva.

Bhaktha: Hanuman, who appears between these two, who is he?
Swami: He who is of great help in the conquest of despair, viz. courage! That is Hanuman, He is courage. Associated with courage, it is possible to cross the ocean of illusion; that is why Rama built the Sethu or bridge with the help of Hanuman.

Bhaktha: After crossing the ocean of illusion, what is to be planned?
Swami: Don't you know what Rama did after crossing over the bridge? Conquering Moha or illusion, He slew Rajoguna and Thamoguna in the form of Ravana and Kumbhakarna. The remaining brother, the last, the Sathwaguna, viz., Vibhishana was crowned king. The three Gunas have been illustrated in the characters and careers of the three brothers, Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana.

Bhaktha: After this, what has to be achieved?
Swami: Has to be achieved, do you say? Next, is the attainment of Anubhavajnana or Seetha; the Jnana reached after experience, Jnana realised in actual life. When both Jada and Chaithanya unite again, that is the Pattabhisheka, the coronation; that is to say Jivanmukthi, salvation for the Jiva. Therefore, the fundamental teaching of the Ramayana is this: "The Jiva, Manas, Jnana, despair, discrimination, courage, delusion, Rajas, Thamas, Sathwa; these demonstrate themselves each in a different form; it to be learnt how and in what ways each of these can be either acquired or subdued." All this is done by the Atma, who has come in the form and with the name of Rama, by His acting, behaving, directing and guiding. So, the Ramayana has not ended long ago. So long as in each one's life there is a struggle for achievement through these paths, and persons attain the Anubhavajnana in the end and Sathwaguna is crowned at last, until then the Ramayana will continue to take place in the heart of man. On one side the Mahabharatha war, on the other side the Ramayana; and on another the Bhagavatha; thus is life led perpetually. These are the Sukshma forms of the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha and the Bhagavatha; do you understand?

Bhaktha: That means, in the Ramayana of actual life, Atma is Rama, Manas is Lakshman, Brahmajnana is Seetha; and when that Seetha is lost, Rama falls into the forest of existence; there, in that forest, there are despair and discrimination; if we associate ourselves with Hanuman or courage, we can go across the sea of delusion, with the army of zest, strength and steadfastness represented by Jambavan, Angada and other Vanaras; as soon as we cross it, we can destroy the Rajasic quality and the Thamasic quality symbolised by Ravana and Kumbhakarna; the Sathwic quality or Vibhishana can then be crowned; Anubhavajnana or Seetha is then attained. This union of Jada and Chaithanya, that is, of Seetha and Rama is the Ananda, Jivanmukthi, salvation for the soul. Ah! What a splendid Ramayana! The Ramayana accomplished as the son of Dasaratha is being enacted now as the subtle Ramayana, through Gunas and Indriyas, qualities and senses in each individual, so to say.
Swami: There is no 'so to say' in this. It is happening as the subtle Ramayana!

Bhaktha: You said, Swami, that each Guna and each Indriya adopts in Ramayana a separate form. It causes some surprise to imagine that the senses also put on some form! In these, the gross and the subtle Ramayanas, in what form do the senses appear? Please tell me this.
Swami: Whatever may be the Guna or quality how can it express itself, without the help of the senses? Gunas are bred in the senses. The senses of action are five; the senses of knowledge are five. These ten, with the help of the Manas, create attachment, isn't it? Otherwise, there can be no merging at all. "Born in Maya, bred in Maya, man's mission is to master Maya", it is said. So too, born in the senses, bred in the senses, the Jada Chaithanya has to master the senses. That is their basic duty, don't you know? Do you know where Rama, the Jivi, was born? Whose son is He? Dasaratha has that name because he symbolises the Dasendriyas, or the ten senses. Whichever Guna or Rupa we consider, it cannot be unrelated to the ten senses, the senses of action and of knowledge, the Karmendriyas and the Jnanendriyas, in the form of Dasaratha, we have the ten.

Bhaktha: Four sons were born of Dasaratha. Of what were they the forms, Swami?
Swami: From the ten senses, not only four, but any number of Gunas and Rupas can originate. But only the chiefest, the four, symbolising the four faces of the Lord, originated by His will. They are born as Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Sathrughna. They are Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema in the subtle form. These are the four faces of the Lord.

Bhaktha: Who among these, Swami, is Sathya? Who represent Dharma, Santhi and Prema?
Swami: Can't you discover? Rama is Sathya. "The status and the honour should go to him who has the right, not to me," said Bharatha when he was offered the crown, and so he is Dharma. Placing complete faith on the Atma, that is, Rama, believing that there is no Ananda sweeter than its uninterrupted company, Lakshmana followed Rama and so he is Prema. Having no individual separate ambition of his own, treading the paths followed by these three, Sathrughna was calm and unperturbed and so he is Santhi. Is that clear?

Bhaktha: Yes, Swami, but these four were born of three mothers; who are those mothers?
Swami: As I said just now, 'born in Maya, bred in Maya, one has to transcend this Maya'; so also, one in born from Gunas, one is brought up with Gunas; finally, one has to transcend the Gunas. The three mothers represent three Gunas! Among them, Kousalya is Sathwaguna, Kaikeyi is Rajoguna, and Sumithra, Thamoguna; they play those roles, in the epic. Dasaratha in the form of Dasendriyas is associated with these Gunas so he is Indriyagunaswarupa. It is because man cannot easily grasp the truth through the senses and the Gunas only, that the Lord taught him through the Ramayana, the Lord teaching us even to this day. The Lord performed that day the gross Ramayana; and today He is performing the Sukshmaramayana on the stage of the heart of man.